Leaving Feminism? I didn’t know there were exits.

Feminist twitter peeps linked me to disability activist s.e. smith’s declaration that zie was leaving feminism.

I found it sobering, and struggled with a sense of defensiveness.

My first reaction is wow, thanks for quitting?

Because I don’t feel feminism has “leaders” in the sense of People Who Dictate the Movement. But maybe that’s the privilege of someone who mostly fits into the parameters of mainstream feminism. Sure I might have to brush off some bisexual invisibility from time to time, but mostly when I raise my hand it is counted.

So I can’t make this uncomfortable train of thought go away by denying s.e. smith’s experience. I can’t convince zir that because I am one of the feminists who wants to work in intersectionality, integrating and aligning women (of all colors and orientations) interests with those of disability activists, transgender activists, fat acceptance activists…. because that seems redundant to me, it’s so obvious that everything is tied together in one big bundle of rights.

I get that it’s simplistic and othering to say “once we get reproductive rights sorted out we are going to move on to the next thing.” Why is reproductive rights first? Because it’s among the most visible of women’s threatened rights? Because its activists have the most experience? Does it matter why? Because a lot of somebodies with passion, intensity, funding and drive are making it happen.

It’s the impossible task of winnowing down a whole roster of legislative or administrative priorities. Decisions have to be made. Not in the discussion portion – everything should be debated and solutions should be proposed and argued over. But when it comes time to put money where mouths are don’t priorities have to be made?

I’m very, truly sorry that s.e. smith feels outside what ou perceives as the movement. There are a ton of feminisms out there and zir experience with the ones near ou seems to have sucked. And that sucks. I want a big freaking tent, I want everyone inside, and I want every issue to be weighted equally.

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